LONDON: An American TV hosts have sparked controversy after they made ‘Islamophobic’ remarks in an interview with a Muslim fashion blogger, who grew up in Oklahoma City of United States.
Iranian-American Muslim fashion blogger Hoda Katebi was told during a segment on local Chicago's WGN News' morning show that she 'does not sound American' because of her views, on live television.
The chat show host Robin Baumgarten asked Katebi about her opinion on Iran and nuclear weapons and she was laughed at for growing up in Oklahoma.
She was on the show to talk about bridging the gap between America and the Middle East through fashion and being an American hijab wearing Muslim and discussed being physically assaulted for wearing her hijab starting in the sixth grade in Oklahoma.
However, soon she was asked, 'Let's talk about nuclear weapons,' to which Katebi responded while laughing uncomfortably with, 'Okay.'
After which, Baumgarten's co-anchor Larry Potash said, "Some of our viewers say, We can not trust Iran."
"I don't think we can trust this country... I am a pacifist, I don't believe in violence," Katebi responded.
Katebi was called for an interview on her book, Tehran Street Style, and her blog. It was aired live on January 31.
After the interview, Katebi wrote a post on her blog Joo Joo to share her ordeal.
"So hindsight is always 20/20, and I honestly should have just stopped him right there and questioned why he thought it was okay to make this ridiculous comment and pose it as a question..." she wrote.
Katebi also took to Twitter explaining that the host called to apologize, and as a response, Katebi requested for another interview to discuss how to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Few updates: 1/ First, I can't thank you all enough for your love & support, it's so refreshing & appreciated! I hope we continue to support Muslim women & women of color who challenge state violence/bias, whether that is laughing through an interview or demanding #FreeAhedTamimi— Hoda Katebi (@hodakatebi) February 14, 2018
2/ WGN just called and Robin, the female anchor, sincerely apologized. (I also didn't realize so many of you called in! Like I said, ya'll on top of this -- thank *you* for making this happen and refusing to normalize this)! I accepted, and proposed a few ways to fix this --— Hoda Katebi (@hodakatebi) February 14, 2018
3/ One proposal I suggested of course, is for WGN to publish a reading list I put together & do an on-air interview where we discuss what happened for their audience, what went wrong, and then to talk about Fanon, Assata Shakur, Edward Said, etc, & American imperialism— Hoda Katebi (@hodakatebi) February 14, 2018
4/ They're going to get back to me on this idea, but in the meantime if you have any further ideas let me know hehe ;) The apology was important, but it's also important to be able to use this moment as a teaching tool, and prevent it from happening again. Let's raise the bar.— Hoda Katebi (@hodakatebi) February 14, 2018